In a world where no stone is left unturned by the rise of social media, it’s quite a rare treat to find something as unique as Deron Nicholson’s 1959 Metro of the Misfits car club cruising the streets without a sizable Instagram “following/stalking.” When we first came across this beast and introduced ourselves to Tyler from the Misfits Car & Motorcycle Club we had already fallen head over heels in love with the utter beastliness and presence that this Metro presents. We figured that without a doubt there would already be a feature of sort floating around out there on something as wicked as this, but upon further research we couldn’t come up with anything. As luck would have it, the lads had just finished the complete build late last show season, and having only taken it to a single local show where it had captured the attention of quite a few people it was garaged again for the winter until fairer skies prevailed.
Photos & Words: Steve Berndsen of Chance Photos
After seeking out Derron and arranging a photo shoot for the debut issue of Slam’d Mag, we hit the road from Canada and headed south to Spokane in Washington State, for the long Memorial Day weekend. With GPS coordinates locked and leading the way we soon realized that we were headed to a local establishment where the Misfit gents we’re meeting up for a few “pre-drinks” before attending a friends annual drive-in movie night at his shed. There was no mistaking that we were in the right place as we rounded the corner and were instantly greeted by the site of Derron’s Metro van laid out in all its glory right at the front door to the pub.
With its original cream finish (complimented by the odd rust holes and dings) and fresh 24-inch Alcoas parked under the guards this van demands a second look from every angle. Deron originally picked up the Metro for a mere $4,000 as a club build so that the lads would all have somewhere to bail in and out of should the weather turn bad at a show, which it quite often does in the northwest. Having early influences in the ’70s from his five older brothers who all grew up with low riders and custom vans, Deron wanted to combine the styles (which is exactly what we’re all about here at Slam’d) and he has done so with a commanding performance.
“The 70’s were a very cool era, low riders and vans were a big thing, so why not build a low rider custom van?”
Built in only eight months flat with help from friends and club members, the build was far from “easy” in terms of complete fabrication and general drivability/functionality was concerned. Tucking the original dual combination (yes we said “dual”) under the rear proved to be quite the challenge when combined with a new set of 24-inch wheels which had to be sent out and milled down to accommodate the low profile rubber that separates this beast from the asphalt. A small-block 350 Chevy engine was opted for due to the limited space to work with in the engine bay after getting the wheels to tuck up front. This also rendered the ’50s style barber chairs that came stock useless, so after a few quick sketches were thrown together two seats were fabbed up with an industrial finish that fits the “Misfit” theme perfectly. Sweeping posts for added leg room while driving and a swivel mechanism that allows both driver and passenger to enter and cruise with ease were added.
“Yes it’s still a true dually, there are four giant dually wheels tucked up under there!”
As far as the rest of the chassis, the Metro sits flat courtesy of a set of actual semi-truck airbags filled from a VIAIR compressor which Deron mentioned he needs to upgrade soon to a dual setup and larger air tank since he’s had enough of the longer cycle times from running the larger ‘bags. A notched four-link gets the back down as well as a swag of other custom parts all round to achieve the extremely low stance at which she rests now. Drawing major inspiration from several previous builds as well as from great fabricators such as Del Ushenko of Delmo’s Customs fame, Derron has managed to create a great all-purpose vehicle that the whole Misfits club can enjoy. Not to mention the fact that when you see this thing cruising the streets it garners all sorts of attention and surely deserves to have words made up for it’s wicked looks and sheer badassery.
350 small-block Chevy
Turbo 350 trans
Flowmaster with custom exhaust
Detail work by Misfits Inc.
1986 Chevy One-Ton Chassis
Notched with custom-built 4-link
Actual semi-truck airbags at all four corners
Six (yes 6!) 24-inch Alcoa Wheels milled down by Tennessee Wheel & Tire
Disc Brake conversion
We left most of the original wear and tear with a few upgrades
Body & Paint by Cory Gilbert CG Customs
Airbrush and lettering by Josh McCurdy at Kre-8 Airbrush Studio
Custom seats by Iron Ace Hot Rod Seats
Hand-built dash and gauges by Power Plus, Inc.
1977 JVC Boom Box (haha)
Special Thanks From Owner: Deron would like to thank Living The Dream Foundation (LTDF), friends and Misfits club members, Rich and Brad Gortsema at Power Plus, Inc. Spokane, Trevor Lockhart at Tennessee Wheel & Tire, Cory Gilbert at CG Customs, Josh McCurdy, and the ever faithful Anheuser-Busch for fueling those long nights and anyone else we forgot to mention, you know who you are!